Gloriana in Twickenham: Where Are We Now?

For the second time in this saga it’s time to say goodbye to one Gloriana boathouse item and hello to a new one. You can still find our previous two items and their 600+ comments on the links below but we felt it was time to take stock of where this almighty rumpus has got to and launch a fresh article.

It really does appear that if Orleans Gardens is going to play host to Gloriana and her bargehouse then it’s not going to happen quietly. There are a lot of vocal locals out there expressing their disapproval. Some might call them nimbys (and that may be true in part) but it does feel like a very clear majority of the people who know and use the park are opposed to the plan. The question then is whether the views of those who don’t know it or don’t use it should be given priority? Should Twickenham locals have to “take one for the team”? And if so, who’s team is it?

Proposed site as seen from Ham

Proposed site as seen from Ham

So where are we now? Continue reading

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Twickenham High Street Update

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock. It’s the sound of the present slipping into the past, of the ‘now’ becoming the ‘then’. Unless you have a digital watch, in which case it isn’t. With the metaphorical clock ticking away we realised that it was quite a while since we’d dumped a High Street Update on our readers so let us freeze time for a minute and take stock of what’s hot and what’s not in our town centre.

Perhaps the most surprising news, or perhaps not, it that Ales & Tails bar on York Street has served its last rhubarb gin and tonic. The guys there worked hard to make it a success and they put a lot of effort into marketing and getting involved in Twickenham events. Indeed, we even had a couple of very successful Twickenham ‘tweet up’ social evenings there. But perhaps it just wasn’t right for a town where traditional pubs rather than bars tend to the norm. Maybe it’s a rugby thing. Either way, it’s sad to see the demise of another new venture on the high street.

Ales & Tails - closed

Ales & Tails – closed


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Cyclist Dies After Truck Collision

There has been more sad and sobering news concerning a London cyclist this week. On Monday morning a cyclist was involved in a collision with a refuse truck on the A316 at the junction of Kew Foot Road and St John’s Grove, near Richmond Athletic Ground. The cyclist was taken by air ambulance to hospital with serious head injuries but died the following day. He has now been named as Henry Lang, aged 40, from Twickenham. Mr Lang was a Technical Business Analyst at Photobox and had previously worked for the Metropolitan Police and KPMG.

The Richmond & Twickenham Times quotes Detective Sargeant John Hartfree, of the Met as saying: “The road would have been very busy at the time of the collision and I believe that a number of people would have seen the incident. I would urge anyone with information to contact us on the witness appeal number 020 8543 5157.”

Mr Lang is the second cyclist to die on London’s Roads this week, the eighth this year.  The police investigation is ongoing but the incident will certainly put local cycle safety back into the spotlight. Our condolences to Mr Lang’s family & friends.

LINK:

* Richmond & Twickenham Times
* BBC London

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More TWAP for Twickenham

Some TWAP going on

Some TWAP going on

We’ve all been enjoying the road works in Twickenham over the last few months, haven’t we? After all, who doesn’t like a good old queue? We’re British, we were born to it. The good news is that more roadworks are on the way and, as with the last lot, it’s all in a good cause, the TWAP. Newer readers may not be familiar with El Brute’s Twickenham Area Action Plan (aka The TWAP) but it’s all about improving Twickenham. Unfortunately the Council seem to be making increasing use of the phrase ‘Twickenham Rediscovered’ for this work which makes it sound like we should be lacing up stout footwear and filling our Thermos flasks for a stroll through our historic town rather than watching pavements get widened and roads get dug up.

The latest stage in ‘Project Twickenham’ will see a re-vamp of the junction of King Street, York Street and London Road. It will take place between 11th and 25th August. In the first stage London Road will be closed with traffic being diverted via York Street and Arragon Road while in the second phase York Street will be closed with traffic going via London Road and Arragon Road. In other words, avoid it if you can. And as a warm up there will also be some night time resurfacing of the Arragon Road / London Road junction between 28th and 30th July.

The work will also involve the introduction of a cycle contraflow running from west to east/north on Holly Road. And if you thought Holly Road wasn’t actually wide enough to accommodate a cycle contraflow then you might find one or two others to agree with you.

After months of work most locals will be looking forward to the finished article and here at twickerati HQ we fall into that category. The work so far seems to have speeded up the flow of traffic through King Street at the expense of bigger jams in surrounding roads. But, as Grace sang way back in 1995, “It’s not over yet”. We’ll take those wise words on board, nod respectfully and wait on.

To sum it all up: It’s jam today but will it also be jam tomorrow?

Twickenham (bathed in evening light)

Twickenham (bathed in evening light)

LINK:
* LBRuT Press Release

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Filed under Council, Local Issues & News, Twickenham Action Plan

Pic of the Week: A Lego Boathouse

Here at twickerati HQ we like a challenge and we also like to be helpful. Like many people we’ve been struggling to get our brains around the true size of the Gloriana boathouse plan. Will it be big? Will it be small? How will it look in Orleans Gardens? What will be its true size? With that in mind we set out to do what neither Foster & Partners nor Richmond Council have managed to do so far, and that’s to translate the proposed boathouse size into something that everyone can understand. So through the medium of Lego we did just that. A Lego person is 4cm high, assume that to be 1.77m tall and scale that up to El Brute’s possible external dimensions (cited at the consultation) of a 36m long, 12m wide and 7m high building. Voila! We’ve got ourselves the basics of a little boathouse, God bless us. But then we ran out of Lego.

Boathouse (Lego scale)

Boathouse (Lego scale)

Lego Gloriana boathouse

Lego Gloriana boathouse

You can’t comment on this item, but our current Gloriana thread is open for business and can be accessed here.

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Filed under Council, Gloriana boathouse, Local Issues & News, Pix of the Week, Random Stuff

Twickenham Indoor Market Arrives

Twickenham Community Market at Mac's Diner

Twickenham Community Market at Mac’s Diner

Way back in 2013 we featured an article by Alan Winter about his idea for of an indoor community market in Twickenham. Alan’s plan to was find a space where local craftspeople, collectors and traders could set up market stalls without being subject to the vagaries of the Twickenham weather (which is a bit like the British weather except that it’s actually even more local). The main focus would be on arts, crafts and collectables with the idea being that stall holders could rent tables by for a period of time or even by the day. Alan’s idea generated a lot of interest and support but one of the stumbling blocks was finding a suitable location. Twelve months on and that problem has been overcome. Alan’s vision for a Twickenham Community Market is just about to become real. You say, “Where?”. We say, “At Mac’s Diner on the corner of Cross Deep and Heath Road”. You say, “When?”. We say, “Every Monday and Tuesday”.

Mac's Diner. Home to Twickenham indoor market.

Mac’s Diner, Twickenham

As Alan tells us, “It has taken a year or so but I am pleased to announce that the Twickenham Community Market which will focus on arts, crafts and collectables with local stallholders will open on Monday 21st July to a fanfare of good music, unusual and unique products and goodwill. It has taken a while because introducing a new addition to the Twickenham townscape of this magnitude always will. If you were one of the locals who fancied running a stall with your own arts, crafts or collectables please get back in touch with me. There will be fabulous refreshments too. Anita McMahon, who owns Mac’s Diner, has come up with a ‘Market Menu’ featuring very affordable and tasty breakfasts, snacks and lunches so come and meet your friends, browse and shop at the stalls and have a bite to eat. There will be some different stallholders on a daily basis to keep the market fresh and interesting for everyone. It is a not for profit, social enterprise and will feature a different local charity each week.”

The official opening will be at 12.00 on Monday 21st July where the Mayor of Richmond and Trevor Baylis will do the honours and there’ll even be live music to add a soundtrack to the occasion. Yep, local rock n rollers Nark Drool and the Shudders will be playing sounds from the 50s and 60s outside Mac’s at 11.30.

Here at twickerati we think it’s a great idea and with the new High Road Auctions just down the road it provides something a bit different for Twickenham’s shoppers. Get in touch with Alan if you want to find out more about taking a table for a day or on a regular basis.

LINKS:
* Alan Winter. M: 07875 578398 E: alanwinter192@hotmail.com

* Previously on twickerati (May 2013)

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Filed under Features, Food & Drink, High Street Updates, Local Issues & News

Ghost Signs of Twickenham

Twickenham’s glory days. Are they behind us, do they still lie ahead? Or are they actually right now? Whatever the answer, we predict that in years to come, with the benefit of hindsight, we’ll look back with a sense of nostalgia at how we imagined the future would turn out. But before we do that, we thought a quick tour of Twickenham’s past would be in order. We don’t mean the obvious signs such as historic buildings but rather the ones that got away – old adverts, road signs referring to a long dead borough and even fire hydrant covers. Below is a selection. It’s almost certainly not complete but feel free to point us to more of Twickenham’s ‘ghost signs’ and we’ll add them in.

Lipton sign - York Street

Lipton sign – York Street

Twickenham Borough Council - fire hydrant

Twickenham Borough Council – fire hydrant

Changing signs, changing times. Staines Road

Changing signs, changing times. Beef tea & chicken broth on Staines Road


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Gloriana in Twickenham: The Great Boat House Bust Up – UPDATED

Boathouse goes here.

Boathouse goes here.

This is now closed to comments. The latest item is here: http://wp.me/pVBg2-2Xe

Not wanting to be accused of spreading mis-information about El Brute’s plans to build a ‘permanent home’ for Gloriana at Orleans Gardens we thought we’d freeze the previous article. Why? Well, it’s mainly because the mahoosive number of comments (over 260!) was making it into a sprawling mess.  You can still read it and all the comments but we thought we’d begin afresh, fully revitalised so to speak, with a re-cap on some of the facts, a reminder that the ‘consultation’ has begun and rapid return to some idle speculation. We’ve even got all the links you could want below. Sorted!

And we’re even regularly adding NEW UPDATES at the end so keeping checking back for those.

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More School Approvals Twick-side

Richmond College

Richmond College

It’s been a while since we talked schools on here. Too long perhaps. So let’s do it right now but let’s keep it brief… Two new primary schools have been approved for the area, both of which plan to open in September 2015. Teacher’s favourite, Michael Gove has given the nod for a Richmond Bridge Primary and a Twickenham Primary. OK, so perhaps he didn’t study the plans personally but they’ve been given the Gove-ahead (geddit?) by his Department for Education. Richmond Bridge will be operated by Bellevue Place Education Trust, Twickenham Primary by GEMS Learning Trust. When running at full capacity these two schools are expected to provide up to 840 primary school places for local children.

El Brute are delighted. There’s a great deal of pressure on school places locally, especially in East Twickenham and St Margarets – after all, who wouldn’t want to live around here – and the addition of four new forms per year group will help alleviate some of that pressure. Both projects now need to complete the tricky task of finding sites.

“Who are the people behind these schools?” you cry. GEMS Learning Trust forms part of GEMS Education which provides a range of education related services worldwide. It’s currently also opening new primary schools in Surbiton and Didcot. Bellevue runs a number of independent schools in the UK, two Swiss boarding schools (that sounds a bit posh, doesn’t it?) and, in September 2013, it opened its first school in the state sector, Rutherford House in Balham.

Meanwhile, El Brute’s grand vision for the redevelopment of Richmond College’s Egerton Road site into an education hub has taken another step forward. The proposal for a new free secondary school there of the non-denominational, non-selective, co-educational variety has also received His Goveship’s seal of approval. The plan would involve the site operating with three separate educational establishments – Richmond College (which would provide the sixth form), the new free school and the Clarendon special school which would move across from Hampton. This new ‘Richmond Education and Enterprise Campus’ is being developed as a partnership between the Council, Harlequins and Haymarket Media. The land would also provide a new base for Haymarket who are seeking to vacate their riverside offices in Teddington. The powers that be expect construction work to begin in late 2015 and the new secondary to open in September 2017. The school would provide five forms per year group.

LINKS:
* El Brute primary school
* GEMS Learning Trust
* Bellevue Education
* El Brute secondary school
* REEC

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